HEVC codec is indispensable for video lovers. Do you know the reason for that? HEVC, short for High-Efficiency Video Coding, also known as H265 and MPEG-H Part 2, is a video compression standard upgraded from AVC (H264). As the fastest video encoder in the world, HEVC is very popular with streaming artists, software developers, and gamers. In order to help you know the power of HEVC codec, let’s explore the differences between H265 vs H264 first. Then I will tell you how to play HEVC videos easily and free with the best H265 encoder, and how to convert H265 to H264 or convert H264 to H265 easily.

1. H264 vs H265

What causes HEVC 265 codec so popular? You have to know the differences of H264 vs H265 first. Here, I will compare them from such 7 aspects below. Continue to read and learn more about H265 vs H265.

(1) Ability to compress data: H265 > H264

HEVC (H265) is an advanced video compression standard which offers amazing video quality up to 4K or UHD. With the same video quality, HEVC codec saves 50% bitrate compared with H264, almost doubles the compression of H264. So in this competition, H265 wins. That's why people more prefer X265 codec download.

(2) Size: H264 > H265

With the same quality, H265 has a smaller size than H264. So start H265 codec download to save more space.

(3) Video quality: H265 > H264

H265 supporting 4K and 8K provides a better video quality than H264 based on the same bit rate. Specifically speaking, H264 supports 16×16 pixel macroblocks while H265 codec allows for 64×64 pixel macroblocks. This advantage of H265 vs H264 leads to its greater encoding efficiency at all resolutions. So HEVC 265 player stands for high-quality videos, which makes people crazy about 4k x265 player.

(4) Hardware support: H265 > H264

The higher fidelity Main 10 profile of H265 has been incorporated into nearly all supporting hardware, so the future of H265 is promising and we are moving towards codec x265.

(5) User: H265 > H264

HEVC 265 possesses 43% video developers which is the second widely used video coding format after H264. And the number of HEVC 265 codec is still increasing day after day.

(6) Motion prediction and compensation: H265 > H264

With strong compression ability and small file size, H265 codec demonstrates better motion prediction and compensation than H264. So the latter needs more improvement.

(7) Intraframe prediction: H265 > H264

Based on the mathematical function to describe pixels, H264 only supports 9 directions of motion, while H265 is able to detect 33 directions of motion. So H265 vs H264 makes the former popular.

Nowadays, H265 videos can be found everywhere in Apple’s new iPhone and iPad, iOS 11, MacBook Pro and tvOS. Even some websites begin to stream H265 videos such as Safari, Netflix, etc. In order to make H265 easily accessible, Windows 10 also releases an add-on called HEVC codec in Microsoft Store. Would you like to learn more about it?

2. HEVC codec in Microsoft Store (Paid & Free)

How can I play HEVC on Windows 10? Find Windows HEVC codec first as few media players can decode HEVC and MKV files, so a third-party HEVC 265 codec is needed. Recently, Microsoft has solved this problem by adding HEVC codec on Windows 10. And you can purchase HEVC codec Windows 10 for $0.99 or head for HEVC codec download without any money charged.

Then how to get HEVC codec from Microsoft Store for free? Start HEVC codec download by adding HEVC video extension from Device Manufacturer and add HEIF image extension to Windows 10. What is HEVC video extension? You can find HEVC video extensions from device manufacturer in the Microsoft store. After adding HEVC video extensions free, you will be able to view HEVC video and HEIF photo free and easily.

For those who are looking forward to a stunning entertainment experience, HEVC is the best choice even in congested network environments. If you want to play H265 in any video app on Windows 10, HEVC video extension helps you encode HEVC content on devices without the help of a hardware-based H265 encoder. Alternatively, you can turn to the best H265-capable media players for help. Continue to read and see how to play H265 videos with your favorite media player - 4K x265/HEVC player.

3. How to play H265 videos with the best media player? (Top 8 HEVC Codec)

“What can play H265”? “How do I play H265 files on my PC”? “Does VLC play H265 HEVC”? For all these questions and related, you will find answers in this part. Here, I will introduce some top free media players helping you play H265 videos smoothly and fast. Although few video player support H265 videos, there is still some professional HEVC codec able to do that.

(1) DVDFab Player 6 (Windows/Mac)

DVDFab Player 6 offering PC mode and TV mode is the best H265 video player. Does my PC support HEVC? Yes, you can achieve that with the help of this HEVC codec which supports 20+ languages. Besides playing HEVC videos from 1000+ websites, this HEVC codes Windows 10 free also plays back 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, 4K UHD videos, DVD, and Bluray disk with menu playback support. You can enjoy HDR10 and HD audio output, as well as 3D playback on 3D media contents using this free HEVC codes Windows 10/Mac.

When you watch H265 videos with DVDFab Player 6, right-click the video interface and you will see numerous options in this HEVC codec player. They help you customize video, audio, subtitle, adjust playback speed, and display HEVC videos in a better way.

(2) VLC HEVC Codec (Windows/Mac)

“Does VLC play H265 HEVC”? Yes. VLC is one of the HEVC 265 codec players free and easily found in an open-source cross-platform. Besides playing H265 videos, "download VLC HEVC/H.265 codec pack" also enables you to play DVDs, Audio CDs and VCDs.

In order to play HEVC videos with this H265 encorder, you need to download VLC HEVC/H.265 codec pack of version 3.0 or above. Otherwise with a lower version, maybe things will happen like this: “ I have installed VLC media player but it fails to run a downloaded HEVC video; Instead, it displays audio normally but with a freezing video of H265”.

(3) 5K Player (Windows/Mac)

Compatible with Windows and Mac, 5K Player is also a good HEVC codec. After HEVC H.265 codec download, you can use it to play online and downloaded videos from 300+ websites. The video formats this H265 encoder supports include MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, MKV, etc. So you can use this HEVC Codec Windows/Mac to display and manage your videos based on your needs.

(4) Windows Media Player (Windows)

“How can I play HEVC on Windows 10”? Windows Media Player is an HEVC encoder. If you choose this HEVC Codec Windows 10 to play HEVC videos, a media player codec pack plus is needed to be installed. And there are two types of installation provided: “Easy Installation” for simple installation, and “Expert Installation” for advanced installation. No matter which kinds of installation you choose this HEVC codec, take care that there is adware, browsers and unrelated software hidden, and remember to uncheck them. After that, you will see HEVC codec is added to Windows Media Player.

(5) H265 HEVC Player (Windows Vista/7/8/10)

“What can play HEVC files”? let’s get down to this HEVC codec Windows free. It can play video files containing H265/HEVC media & MKV, audio files of common codecs, and subtitles in formats of SSA and AAS. However, this HEVC codec hasn’t been updated in the late three years. Its last update was on May 22nd, 2017. Although it is an H265 encoder, the video quality you can get depends on the decoding speed of your machine instead of this HEVC codec Windows 10 free.

(6) UFUSoft Blu-ray Player (Windows 10/8.1 blur/8/7/Vista/XP)

“How can I play HEVC on Windows 10”? UFUSoft Blu-ray Player is a good choice that supports video codecs of H264, H264 as well as MPEG-4. And its output audios include Dolby, DTS, AAC, TrueHD, and DTS-HD. When you use this HEVC codec Windows 10 for video display, you can adjust the subtitles, video, and audio as you like. But this H265 encoder is only compatible with Windows. If only it also worked on Mac like DVDFab Player 6!

(7) MPV HEVC 265 Player (Windows/Mac)

MPV player is an HEVC codec Windows 10 media software. It is developed based on mplayer2 and MPlayer. This open-source software is capable to play 4K AVC 59.94fps videos and there are no frame drops. But when this HEVC 265 player is used to play 4K HEVC HDR video, the frame will drop by 60 - 85 percent.

(8) KM Player (Windows)

The last HEVC codec I am going to introduce is KM Player. It runs H265 on Windows and supports English, Turkish, Czech, Dutch, Hebrew, and Persian. When you get this H265 encoder installed, there will be no advertisements but they did exist in the past.

Apart from such 8 HEVC/H265-supported media players or HEVC codec, I also heard of another five H265-capable software, including MPC-HV, Pot Player, MPC-BEIINA, Splash, and Elmedia Player. They are claimed to play H265. But unfortunately, I haven’t found any details about their ability to play H265 videos after a careful check on their websites. So I recommend you make a cautious decision when using any of such 5 HEVC codec.

4. HEVC Converter (H265 Converter)

Considering the importance of HEVC,would you like to convert H264 to H265 to save more space for your computer, or convert H265 to H264 when you have no HEVC codec? If so, there is an HEVC converter helping you do that. Prepare your H264 videos and let's see how this HEVC converter works.

(1) Convert H264 to H265 (Convert HEVC to MP4)

The useful program I am going to introduce is DVDFab Video Converter. This HEVC codec is free to use and available on both Windows and Mac. You can use it to convert any video and audio from one format to another like H264 to H265 and HEVC to MP4. Meanwhile, this HEVC codec supports batch conversion.

Steps on how to use this H265 to MP4 converter:

  • Get DVDFab Video Converter launched on Windows or Mac
  • Select the module of Converter on the top
  • Add your H264 videos to this HEVC codec
  • Click the option of "Choose Other Profile"
  • Tick off H265 and choose your favorite output video format like MP4
  • Set output video directory
  • Start to convert H264 to H265 using this HEVC Codec

Recently, HEVC has upgraded its HEVC codec version to release more powerful capability. In order to keep pace with the new technology, DVDFab has also optimized its HEVC codec, which greatly improves the utilization rate of CPU and shortens the conversion time. For example,  if you are converting AMD CPU DVD source, the conversion speed will be over 1.5 times faster than before. For Intel CPU DVD source, the conversion speed will increase by 10 percent. Now, there is a comparison of the performance of DVDFab DVD Ripper and DVDFab Blu-ray Ripper. With the support of HEVC codec, see what progress they have made.

Comparison Table of Software HEVC between DVDFab 12009 and 12011:

Hardware&System

Source type

Profile

8bit

10bit

12bit

OS: win10 64 bit

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

RAM: 16GB

480p DVD

MP4.H265

50%

50%

30%

1080p BD

MP4.H265

10%

10%

5%

OS: win10 64bit

CPU: I7-6700

RAM: 8GB

480p DVD

MP4.H265

60%

60%

30%

1080p BD

MP4.H265

10%

5%

5%

(2) Convert H265 to H264 

For some reason, if you want to convert H265 to H264, you can also ask for an H265 to H264 converter - Any Conv, for help. Here is how to use this HEVC codec.

Steps on how to convert H265 to H264:

  • Click “Choose File” to upload a H265 video no more than 50 Mb
  • Set the output format as H264
  • Press the button “Convert”
  • Download H264 videos

HEVC codec is a new trend and will be very popular in a near future. Be ready to welcome this change and upgrade your system to adapt to H265 codec.

Conclusion

How to run H265/HEVC? There are HEVC codec Windows 10 free and Mac provided in this article. Choose your favorite video player such as DVDFab Player 6 and just get the HEVC codec downloaded. Then you will find the disadvantage of H265 over H264 easily. Besides this solution, “How Can I play HEVC on Windows 10” can also be dealt with with an HEVC codec extension added to your computer. Follow the two methods and play HEVC free and fast on Windows or Mac. If you want to convert H265 to H264 or vice versa, there is also free access introduced in this post. 

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